Wow, it’s taken me some time to actually get to this point where I’m comfortable writing Bennett’s birth story. It was an emotional one and whenever I think about it, it brings back the feelings I had that day. Very traumatic I might add. I wrote down some notes but not much, this happened over 2 years ago, I had no clue I would ever want to write a birth story so far down the line. But I do remember a lot because it’s the day that would change me forever, obviously having a baby is the best thing that will ever happen to you. I feel it changes you for the better, it gives you a purpose in life for sure.
August 13, 2016 My husband, family and I decided to go take a walk down at the track, well my husband, Dad and my brother were on this running kick and wanted to race each other, don’t get me started on that. I walked about a mile and I started to feel some very tight contractions, this was my first so I had no clue what I was feeling. I had no pain at all. I kept having the tightening throughout breakfast at Ihop where I filled myself up with Pancakes. The contractions started to get stronger but again I had no clue what I was supposed to feel. My mom kept saying, this may be the day.
Fast forward to later in the night, contractions were getting stronger and stronger, my husband and I had no sleep because we kept thinking this could be the night. It was like 10pm and they were getting stronger and stronger, so I decided to take a shower and get cleaned up before we went to the hospital.
I was going in and out of contractions for a few hours, they would stop and then all of a sudden come back even stronger, so that started to scare me. We left at like 230am to go to the hospital but first we had to stop at my parents to drop my dog off. At that point i was in a lot of pain where I started to tell my husband to drive faster but he did not drive faster I feel.
I got to the hospital and got hooked up, and the nurse told me I was dilated to 3cm. Which, why doesn’t anyone ever tell you that them checking how dilated you were was the most painful thing you could experience. The nurse had to do it twice. Ugg I got the epidural which probably took an hour for the Anesthesiologist to get to my room. That was uneventful but amazing when I started to feel the effects. This is when they administered the pitocin as well. It worked right away and it was amazing to me that I was having these strong contractions with no pain. Epidural is amazing or so I thought.
This is about the time my family started to trickle in. My Dad, Mom, Sister and Sister in law showed up to root me on. It was probably around 3am at this time. It was amazing to have all my loved ones with me on life changing day.
The nurse and Doctor basically said this is going to be a long day so lets get some sleep. So everyone left except obviously the hubs. I could not sleep but my husband slept like a baby in the corner, I don’t know how, I was too excited to meet my baby and very happy I wasn’t in pain anymore. Then the pain started to come back on my right side, I was pushing the magic button and nothing was working I was getting no relief. So I had the anesthesiologist come back and redo something. I was definitely having back contractions which is excruciating if anyone’s ever experienced it.The doctor said he administered a “more concentrated version” of the epidural. Whatever that means. I was in too much pain to ask. That’s one thing I regret, I wish I had asked more questions and been more direct about how much pain I was in. He should have redone my epidural I feel, not given me a more concentrated version. It was placed wrong I could feel it. If I knew then what I knew now, I would have told him to kiss my ass and redo the epidural.
That’s the best advice I can give to new mom is to be direct, and have your partner be your “campaign manager”. You tell the doctors what you need and want and don’t let them make you feel like your wrong in any way because that how I felt through my whole birth. I was to soft spoken to say anything, go with the flow kind of gal. But you cannot be that way when you are giving birth. Please believe me on this one.
My family came back around 6:45 am and by that time. They brought in Del Taco for everyone except for me, it did not smell good anyways. I had no pain, that “concentrated version” was working at that point. At around 9am I started to feel pain again so I kept pressing that so called magic button where it helped a little bit at a time. My blood pressure kept dropping so they had to give me epinephrine to help with that a few times. I was throwing up also, ugg it was not pretty. I hate pitocin, my contractions were off the charts.
Hours go by going through dealing with the pain, feeling like I was going to puke, needing extra oxygen and finally my doctor came and and I was ready to push by 1:00pm. Long day of no sleep that’s for sure.
I had the mirror, which was amazing, I never would have thought I would have wanted it but it really did help. I won’t give details. I pushed and pushed, throwing up at the same time, my mom holding one leg and my husband holding another. I will say that was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my life.
I pushed for an 1.5 hours and finally Bennett was born on August 14th at 2:35 pm, He was 7 lbs. 14 oz. 21.5 inches. Amazing. My little angel.
They gave him to me and I was melting in La la land with my new baby boy. So on cloud 9.
Then that was interrupted, he never let out a cry, it was more of a grunt. He had kind of a purple tint that did not really concern us. They came in to examine him and notice a grunting noise to his breathing. They hooked him up and noticed his O2 levels were low and began giving him oxygen at 30%. They also attempted to suction his throat about 3 times with minimal results. The NICU nurse Nancy came to evaluate him and determined he needed to be taken to the NICU. It was very emotional to see my baby leave my side but they again made me feel like this was routine. The mood at that point was calm and almost celebratory. My husband told me exactly what happened when he went to the NICU.
My husband followed him to the NICU and when he arrived there they had to increase his Oxygen to 90% and the radiologist came to take an X ray. The X ray showed what appeared to be an air bubble in the chest, which they assumed was from his lungs not being fully inflated and tearing when he took a large breath in the smaller area that was inflated leading to an air bubble in his chest that was putting pressure on his lung and stifling his breathing. Because of this they changed the breathing face mask to a dome that sit over his head. They did this because they could not control the pressure on the face mask and did not want to make the air bubble worse. They also were suctioning some blood from his throat with a bulb and were assuming his throat may have been lacerated from the suction in the birthing room. They did a pretty good job of making us feel like all of this was normal, which it may have been. They were also performing a bunch of blood tests and needing to draw blood, which they used a small led light to illuminate from inside his palm to see the veins to draw. My husband told me he was holding his hand the whole time to comfort him.
At one point they also gave him a pacifier to calm him down which he did not immediately take
but did when the added some sweet liquid to it.
It took me awhile to get down there, maybe an hour or so, and all I remember is seeing my baby hooked up to a million tubes and looking so helpless.I had no answers as to why this was happening. I had a normal pregnancy, normal but stressful delivery but there were no answers as to why my baby was here. I was staring at him in tears, hours from just pushing him out of me, and then I saw blood trickle out of his nose. I screamed and said, there’s blood coming out of his nose. Nurses and Doctors rush over to my poor baby, about 10 different people basically push us all out of the way. They started to intubate my son right in front of us, I had to be escorted out of there but my husband kept calm and stayed. I had lots of support in there, my mom thank god was there to catch me when I fell to my knees.
My husband stayed as they began administering something for his lungs called FFM, some kind of antacid, 2x vitamin K shots, and possibly something for clotting. His blood pressure began to drop and they had to issue Dopamine to treat. They stopped it shortly after, it began fluctuating up and down and this concerned them enough that they made the decision to move him. The doctor mentioned at some point that if he made it 2 hour stable (approx 8:00pm) that he would be out of the woods. They suggested that there could be bleeding in his brain and the fluctuations could be due to him having strokes.
My mom was taking care of me in the waiting room of the NICU and finally my husband came out and said we can go see him. I went back in to see him and there were even more tubes. My baby looked so helpless but so brave. I was just thinking in my head, please stay strong my boy.
The doctors could not come up with a diagnosis. They needed some ultrasound equipment they did not have to inspect, and the Dr. also wanted some options for further O2 treatment that they did not have. Zion or Rady were the two options, with his preference towards Rady to allow them to have a last resort of using ECMO treatment which Zion did not have. He wanted to move him there to avoid having to move him again in the event they needed the ECMO. Again, this was hours after I labored my beautiful boy and nothing was going to make me stay at the hospital when my baby was going to be transferred to another hospital.
My doctor advised against it but I decided to discharge myself from the hospital. We were not able to ride in the ambulance with my son so we followed right behind him.
He fortunately got better very quickly. Even before he arrived at Rady’s. He stayed at Rady’s for a couple days then transported back to the hospital where I gave birth, which was a whirlwind. I don’t even know how my husband and I made it through. It was a long week in the hospital with my baby, very hard and traumatic for all of us. But we were finally able to bring him home after a week. He needed to take a weeks full of antibiotics. To this day I still wonder what happened to my baby, and still trying to find someone to blame honestly. Bennett had no problems latching which was a huge relief. I definitely had PTSD after this birth, so when I got pregnant with my second baby I was very nervous through the whole pregnancy thinking this could happen again. It was so far from the truth because Hendrix’s birth was a beautiful birth and a beautiful moment for all of us. We are so blessed to have two healthy baby boys in our lives.